En Este Momento

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Claudia Acuña's first effort for Marsalis Music and fourth CD overall -- the previous on Max Jazz and two for the Verve label -- is a subdued recording, much more introspective and thoughtful. Due to the presence of acoustic guitarist Juancho Herrera, the mood is more serene and wistful, with words sung in Spanish save a single track done in English. Electric and acoustic pianist Jason Lindner is also much more reserved, in the backdrop and less forceful than he usually is, but no less distinctive. Where bassist Omer Avital and drummer Clarence Penn have worked with Acuña and Lindner for several years, it is very clear from the outset they all know exactly what to do ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Claudia Acuña's first effort for Marsalis Music and fourth CD overall -- the previous on Max Jazz and two for the Verve label -- is a subdued recording, much more introspective and thoughtful. Due to the presence of acoustic guitarist Juancho Herrera, the mood is more serene and wistful, with words sung in Spanish save a single track done in English. Electric and acoustic pianist Jason Lindner is also much more reserved, in the backdrop and less forceful than he usually is, but no less distinctive. Where bassist Omer Avital and drummer Clarence Penn have worked with Acuña and Lindner for several years, it is very clear from the outset they all know exactly what to do in their subliminal roles. It seems these sensitive and reflective songs have been on Acuña's mind for some time. The Chilean born vocalist taps classic sources and material she knew during childhood, including music from Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, and Cuba. More specifically, there are lyrics from her fellow Chilean, the freedom fighter and poet Victor Jara, and tunes of her own. Classic works by Jara, "El Cigarrito" and "Te Recuerdo Amanda," kick off the set, the former with clockwork rhythms via Penn swinging and swaying about before an atypical steely electric guitar solo from Herrera, the latter a yearning modal song in 5/4 time. Slow and somber respectively, "That's What They Say" -- sung in English -- is a tune of confusion and not belonging, while Jara's "El Derecho de Vivir en Paz" has Acuña and Herrera conferring in a retreat of reorganization, while the drifting "Contigo en la Distancia" retrospectively observes life from faraway locales. Branford Marsalis joins the group, playing soprano sax on his sole cameo, "Cuando Vuelvo a Tu Lado," while the ensemble goes deep into the dark blue spectrum for Astor Piazzolla's sad tango "Vuelvo a Sur." It takes the band nine tracks to step up their energy as on the bouncy, much more spirited "Sueño Contigo." Lindner is always more than able to play individualistically, no matter the tempo, mood, or underpinning required, and should be listened to with rapt attention. Because of the personal nature of this music, Acuña herself is not as pronounced or bold as on previous dates, but delivers the goods in a deliberate yet subtle manner. This is mood and moody music, suited to be played under cover of darkness, not romantic, not sanguine, definitely heartfelt, and rewarding in many ways that are far less obvious on the surface.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/7/2009
  • Label: Marsalis Music
  • UPC: 874946001007
  • Catalog Number: 600100
  • Sales rank: 19,058

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Claudia Acuña Primary Artist, Vocals
Omer Avital Bass
Branford Marsalis Soprano Saxophone, Guest Appearance
Clarence Penn Percussion, Drums, Cajon
Jason Lindner Organ, Piano, Mellotron, fender rhodes
Juancho Herrera Guitar, Mandolin
Edgardo Serka Bombo, Palmas
Technical Credits
Astor Piazzolla Composer
María Mendez Grever Composer
Omer Avital Arranger
Greg Calbi Mastering
Branford Marsalis Producer, Audio Production
Clarence Penn Arranger
Bob Blumenthal Liner Notes
Ruben Rada Composer
Jason Lindner Arranger, Composer
Alvaro Carrillo Alarcon Composer
Claudia Acuña Arranger, Composer
Mary Ellen Stefanides Art Direction
Juancho Herrera Arranger, Composer
Cesar Portillo de la Luz Composer
Victor Lidio Jara Martinez Composer
Fernando Solanas Composer
Alvaro Alarcon Carillo Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Claudia Acuna Rocks!

    When offered the opportunity to review En Este Momento, Claudia Acuna's latest album, I jumped at the chance. I am a huge fan of Latin Jazz in general, and Claudia Acuna in particular. Once the album arrived, I wasted no time in ripping open the cover and getting down to business. I was not disappointed. The music in En Este Momento is awesome.

    Some CDs grab you by the throat during the first song and by the end of the album, the hook is in you so deep you can't escape. Others come on to you with slow intoxication, seeping through your consciousness like a mellow liquor. For me, En Este Momento provided the latter kind of listening experience. The first time I listened to the album I knew I liked it but wasn't quite sure why. On the second and third listenings, I became immersed in multiple layers of appreciation as I listened carefully to each song. On the fourth round, it all came together and I was hooked. That's when I decided that this was my kind of music!

    On the surface, Latin Jazz seems like a relatively uncomplicated music form; but the truth of the matter is, to play it well both vocal and instrumental performers must continuously strive to remain in that sweet spot between the two genres. With her rich and mellow alto voice Ms. Acuna seemed to accomplish this difficult task almost effortlessly, exploring songs ranging in emotion from romantic and sensuous to edgy and borderline avant-garde; all the time adhering to the essential elements of jazz.

    Much credit is also due to the world class musicians who performed with her in the album, including: Jason Lindner (piano), Juancho Herrera (guitar/mandolin), Omer Avital (bass), and Clarence Penn (drums, cajon, percussion). Additional guests Edgardo "Yayo" Serko (cajon, bombo leguero, palmas) and Branford Marsalis (soprano saxophone) contribute extra spice to the mix. Ms. Acuna once said, "I love jazz's tradition, but I always promised myself that my music would pay tribute to who I am, which is why all of my albums contain at least one song from South America." En Este Momento is no exception. For this recording, she chose chose several Spanish-language classics such as the hauntingly beautiful "La Mentira,"written by Alvaro Carrillo Alarcon, and three songs by Victor Jara, who has been called the Bob Dylan of Chile. She effortlessly glides through her own interpretation of the upbeat "Sueño Contigo" by Uruguayan singer and percussionist Ruben Rada, and shows her growing confidence as lyricist and co-composer of two songs "Tulum" and "That's What They Say."

    En Este Momento is Claudia Acuna's best effort so far. It is scheduled for release by Marsalis Records on April 7 with concert dates in selected cities throughout the U.S. to follow. Don"t miss a chance to listen to this exciting new CD , and to see this immensely talented vocalist in a city near you.

    Ron Standerfer is a freelance writer and photographer who is a frequent contributor to Blogger News Network, Ezine Articles and Reader Views, as well as numerous other online news sites.

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